Monday, June 03, 2002

KILLIN' TEXANS: Without comment, the Supreme Court overruled Texas' appeal that death row inmate Calvin Burdine should be executed for (allegedly, of course) killing his gay lover, never mind that his lawyer slept through parts of his trial ... including questioning of the prosecution's witnesses and admission of evidence. It's an interesting question. Is sleeping in trial like the temporary absence of counsel from the trial, which would result in an automatic reversal of the conviction, or is it like impairment of counsel due to drugs, drink, or mental illness, in which case the convict has to show a likelihood that the outcome would be different if his counsel had been competent? I'm sure if it was important the lawyer would have awakened to object. And damn those prosecutors for whispering in court anyway. If his opening hadn't been such a lullabye ....

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